The Pope is to visit Britain in September at the invitation of the Queen, Buckingham Palace has confirmed.
It will be the first Papal visit to Britain since 1982, when Pope John Paul II’s six-day tour drew huge crowds.
In a historic move, it will also be the first ever official Papal visit to Britain. The 1982 trip was a pastoral one.
Pope Benedict XVI will make his visit between September 16 and 19.
He will be received by the Queen, who is Supreme Governor of the Church of England, and the Duke of Edinburgh at the Palace of Holyroodhouse in Edinburgh on September 16.
The Pontiff will also travel to Glasgow, London and Coventry during his four-day stay.
He confirmed last month in Rome that he was set to visit England and Scotland later in the year.
His remarks criticising aspects of Britain’s equality legislation were greeted with outrage by secular campaigners.
During the visit the Pope will beatify the nineteenth century theologian and educationalist Cardinal John Henry Newman at a public mass in Coventry.
The visit will also include a public mass in Glasgow and a prayer vigil in London.
He will also meet the Archbishop of Canterbury at Lambeth Palace and pray with other church leaders at Westminster Abbey.
More details of the Pope’s itinerary will be released closer to the time.